Ow, my brain hurts. So, let's just get these out of the way, shall we? In the annual Village Voice/LA Weekly Film Poll, announced just before Christmas, 94 critics (including me) came up with 160 nominations for best films of 2009 -- and voted in a bunch of other categories, too, including Best Film of the Decade ("Mulholland Dr."). [My decade favorites are here.]
Meanwhile, Film Comment polled another big batch o' crix (a lot of the same ones, in fact) and came up with a somewhat different 20 Best of 2009 list -- and 150 Best Films of the Decade (topped by... "Mulholland Dr."). Just for fun, let us compare the two groups' Top Dozen for both year and decade:
British filmmaker Paul Greengrass, as I've mentioned before, is surely the most accomplished action-thriller director around these days. "Bloody Sunday" and "The Bourne Supremacy" are evidence enough of that. This week, Greengrass's "United 93," about the September 11, 2001, flight now commemorated in a Pennsylvania field, opens the Tribeca Film Festival and then moves into theaters.
David Poland, over at "The Hot Blog," saw the film recently and writes:
Maybe a young director shouldn't expect too much. Peter Watkins made "The War Game," a documentary about nuclear war, and it was banned on British television and described by Kenneth Tynan as the most important film ever made. Then Watkins made his first full-length feature, "Privilege," in which he was just as bitter, in a different way, about how things were going. But the reviewers didn't exactly lose their cool." Watkins said the other day. "You know the kind of review. It's a good try, they say. Interesting. Original. But it doesn't quite come off." Watkins' "The War Game," which has been at the World Playhouse for a month, shows what would happen if a small nuclear device were to explode off-target in England.